The Wet Rag
Well………….The crazy life just keeps on rolling! First, I know that some of you actually look forward to reading this stuff, so, I apologize for not getting it done.
I’ve been kind of busy. If you have been watching television, you might have noticed that Colorado had a pretty “good” flood. Though, there was NOTHING good about this flood, I try to tweak some good in everything.
I wish this flood was another notch in the “bucket list”, but unfortunately, it is not. I lived through another flood in 1997 that flooded our neighborhood (as well, as other neighborhoods) in our town. Although, my home was untouched by the flood, my father’s basement (the home of my youth) was flooded.
After the rains subsided, my brothers, my step-mother, nieces and nephews, my kids and an aunt began the cleanup of my father’s house. It was quite the family affair.
Did you happen to notice the someone was left off the list of people that helped with the cleanup? Yep, Ol’ Dad didn’t lift a finger. Not because of his age or any health challenges, no, he just decided he didn’t want to help. He was the Dad, (the boss) and he had plenty of kids. My father left his flooded home to meet his friends at the coffee shop. (OK, I’m still a little bitter about that one.)
I’m not sure why my aunt (Dad’s baby sister) helped that day. I don’t think my dad invited her and I don’t know if anyone had appointed her “boss”, but she assumed the position immediately.
Aunt _______ seemed to be zeroed in on bossing Elaine. After about four hours of bossing and flicking water in her face, she then threw a water soaked rag at the back of Elaine’s head. Elaine had enough of the abuse. Standing in 3″ of water on the basement floor, Elaine yelled, “_______, you (construction language)”!
My nephew and nieces started cheering and congratulating Elaine. To this day, (and this subject comes up often) Elaine has an elevated position in my family. “Remember, the day Elaine called Aunt _______ a (construction language)?” “Yep, that was a good day!”
It was almost magical. High-fives were flying everywhere. And the best part, after that small turn of events, I took Elaine home. (I went home with her.) For us, that was the end of cleaning my dad’s basement.
It took about ten years for Elaine and my aunt to talk again. I’m not really sure my aunt remembers the incident. But, the rest of the family does. Elaine Sipes, Family hero!
Let’s talk about last week’s flood. Elaine and I were on our way to Scottsbluff, Nebraska to participate in the fiber festival. We driving in the rain in Southern Wyoming, when Ivy called.
I still remember her words, “You need to come home, we have 8″ of water in the basement.” I went numb. I kept hoping, “she doesn’t know how much 8″ is. Maybe it is only 2″ or may be more than eight”. I guess it really didn’t matter. I know she was sure we had water in the basement.
“Dad, be careful, the road is washing out!” She wasn’t wrong about that. Driving home, we found our county road to be a county river. By now I am realizing this is not a good thing.
After arriving home, I started building earthen berms around our house. Neighbors arrived to help. We have the best neighbors in the world! We worked until we were exhausted. It rained all night. Not just here, but all the way down the Front Range of the Rockies. As far floods go, this is one to remember.
I might be hard to remember because we don’t name our floods. No Katrinas or Sandys for us. Although, I might suggest we name this Flood Monner. Remember, I have an abundance of ego.
So, here I am with my chance to leave a flooded basement and go have coffee with my friends. Unfortunately, I don’t have friends that I drink coffee with. I have friends I drink coffee with, but we don’t make an event out of it.
Anyway, I stayed at home to orchestrate the cleanup. (I didn’t want to) We pumped somewhere between 9″ to 15″ of water from our basement. I believe, had we not started and continue pumping, water would have filled our basement to the ceiling. Most of everything in the basement was destroyed.
As if things weren’t bad enough, the yaks escaped. We have a barn to protect them from the weather, except when the barn is full of water. The yaks were tired of standing in 10″ of water, mud and yak poop and decide to break out. I don’t know where they were going, but I do know they decided not to stay home. Cheese pushed down a fence and led the others out into a rain soaked wilderness.
They came back (Right now, I’m not sure how I feel about that) I guess there is no sweetened feed in the wilderness. These yaks aren’t as smart as they think they are. (I might not be either)
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. If you feel like it, come to the store and give Elaine a hug. Don’t bring in a wet rag, I think Elaine still remembers that word!
If anyone wants to drink coffee, call me.
Our crazy lives!